A Travellerspoint blog

Cambodia

ANGKOR, CAMBODIA

Angkor ruins, Cambodia Feb 28, 2010

sunny 44 °C

We were too lazy to get up and watch the sunrise over the ruins of Angkor Wat, and to this day I regret it when I see other people's surreal photos of it! So get your lazy butts out of bed and go see it! We rolled outta bed around 8:30am, had breakfast, and then rented a tuk-tuk & driver for $30 for the full day (right til sunset!), and headed to the ruins, only a short drive from our hotel. It cost $40US for the both of us for a 1 day pass. First stop ... Angkor Wat itself! Unfortunately the south side was covered in green scaffolding, so I made this photo black & white so you cant see it as much ;)
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Inside the ruins . . .
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Dancing shiva carvings . . .
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Then we took our tuk-tuk to the ruins of Bayon. There are bicycles for rent, but DONT do it! It was +44C with no breeze at all! I drank 4L of water and only peed once the entire day! It was the hottest, most sweatiest day of my life! The ruins are far apart, so dont waste your energy biking around, save it for exploring the ruins! Heat stroke is no joke! We passed through the Angkor Thom gate lined with Buddhas to get there.
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Every possible surface had the carving of a Buddha face!
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Next up, Ta Prohm! These ruins are still in their original state ... completely over-taken by Strangler Figs. Scenes from Laura Croft Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie were filmed here. Unfortunately platforms have been built and ropes have been hung to make walkways to keep tourists off the ruins. It makes the place quite tacky. But if you can look passed that, its stunning!
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We paid our driver a little extra to take us to Banteay Srei. Waste of time really. All the postcards show these beautiful pink ruins reflecting on a pond. Well the pond was mostly dried up, and the water that was there was covered in algae, so there was no reflection. The ruins were pink sandstone which was different than the other ruins which are made of black lavastone. But they are very small in comparison to the other ruins ... and waaaaay outta the way. I dont recommend wasting your time driving out there. Not even gonna post a pic thats how unimpressed I was. But heres a photo of our filthy filthy feet after a long, hot & sweaty day of exploring!
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Posted by ChantelleS 21:52 Archived in Cambodia Tagged temple ruins cambodia angkor Comments (0)

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

Siem Reap Feb 27 - Mar 2, 2010

sunny 44 °C

Very early on the morning of Feb 27/10 we took a cab from Ayutthaya, Thailand, to Siem Reap, Cambodia. The drive to the border town of Poipet was approximately 3hrs. Roads were good, so we both slept the whole way. Heres a lesson on crossing the Thai / Cambodian border ... go straight to the government / passport building! Do not let your cab driver drop you off where some guy charges you $90 for a tourist visa! We had never crossed a border by foot before, so we had no clue where to go or what to do. We totally got ripped off, cuz we had no one to ask ... other than the guys at the border insisting we HAD to get our visas here. We found out later that if we had walked passed these touts, and straight to the building in the distance, that thats where you can get the exact same visa for only $35! Oh well, lesson learned.

Crossing the border into Camboida.
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Theres not a whole lot of cars / trucks in Cambodia (other than taxis) ... mostly motorbikes, tuk-tuks or man-power, as seen below!
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From the border to Siem Reap was another 2.5hrs. We had to switch cabs on the other side of the border. We stayed at the Angkor Spirit Palace for only $27 per night! I love Asia, I wish hotels were this cheap everywhere! The Khmer architecture was fabulous! The pool area was awesome, and the food was delish! It was located just outside of town, which we quite enjoyed, cuz your away from all the hustle & bustle of the town itself. You dont have to hear the loud booming music of the clubs all night long. Peaceful :)
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By the time we checked in and unpacked a little, it was mid-afternoon, so we just chilled by the pool our first day.
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Beautiful plumeria around the hotel grounds.
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These big ol' toads would come out at night all over the hotel grounds! The body was the size of my palm! I've never seen toads this big before!! This guy was waiting for us in front of the door to our room.
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That evening we hired a tuk-tuk & driver to tour around the countryside a bit. The photo below is of Kevin negotiating a price with our driver. Cambodian tuk-tuks are so much comfier than Thai ones. For one, you can actually fit in them, lol! The seats are cushioned, you can put your feet up, & its open-air so you feel the breeze! Just make sure you dont get one pulled by a bike puffing black smoke!
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This is Phneachy Village just outside of Siem Reap.
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Beautiful lily pad fields where everywhere!
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Posted by ChantelleS 22:13 Archived in Cambodia Tagged cambodia reap siem Comments (0)

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